Nearly 150,000 Linux PCs will be rolled out to students in the
Jaingsu province, according to an announcement from Chinese
distribution company Sun Wah Linux.
Six PC manufacturers have won contracts to provide 141,624 PCs
to the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education as part of an
educational program entitled School-to-School Project. Each machine
will be loaded with Sun Wah Linux’s Debian-based distro Rays
Sun Wah executives are calling this the largest Linux desktop
roll-out in Asia, and are hailing this roll-out as a further sign
that moving towards a national version of the Linux operating
system will save millions of dollars and foster more Chinese
software development. And, it seems, it doesn’t hurt that the move
keeps a certain software company out of the process as well.
“This project marks the cooperative effort of Sun Wah Linux and
the government’s use of Linux to fight against Microsoft’s monopoly
in China,” said Alex Banh, CEO, Sun Wah Linux.
The School-to-School Project will supply the Linux PCs to
elementary and secondary schools in the poorer areas of nine cities
in the southeastern Chinese province.
A total of fifteen companies competed for PC procurement deal,
estimated to be worth a total of RMB 346.2 million [US$42.7
million]. The six PC manufacturers beat out Dell, Hewlett Packard,
and Lenovo for the contract.
“This is the first time a procurement project for education is
at such a large scale and we believe this application will set a
good example for other School-to-School projects around the
country,” said Ju Zongqi, project leader of the Jiangsu